This is about my personal experience in the (tedious!) admission process of my current med school, Pamantasan ng Lungsod Ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila).
When I myself was applying last year, I relied heavily and almost solely on what people had to say online, simply because I didn’t personally know anyone studying at PLM yet. My bibles – this blog and Pinoy.MD. The resources were limited then, and still are now, so I hope a needy soul at least finds this page and finds it useful.
These are all from my personal experiences only. I am not some kind of official spokesperson for the college. Umeeksena lang ako, haha! But I only applied last year, and am currently a Freshman – so I’m guessing this is the most updated guide you’ll find. I really hope it helps you. If you are still confused, leave a comment and I’ll try to give a prompt reply.
PLM-CM is located in the historic walled city of Intramuros. Its teaching hospital is Ospital ng Maynila, a public hospital, located at Quirino Avenue cor. Roxas Boulevard (one jeepney ride away for students who have classes in both locations in one day). Student population is relatively small – there are four blocks per batch, with 34-36 students each. Professors are all inspiring MDs, most of whom are graduates of PLM themselves.
Like I said in a previous blog entry, I only get bipolar comments when people learn that I’m taking up med in PLM. “Wow, ang galing mo!!!” or …. “PLM, saan yun???”
Para matapos na ang gulo, eto na.
Some people say that it doesn’t matter what med school you go to, as long as you pass the licensure exam. At one point, I agree because I’ve seen the worth of independence and personal efforts. But honestly, if you have a dream school, go for it! Don’t settle for anything less until you see that final list of admitted applicants. If you do get in, it will be your constant motivation to stay no matter how challenging it gets. Remember, you are in your dream school, and you will always be proud to be there! (True for me!)
The university is highly subsidized by the government, so our tuition fee is definitely more affordable.
To give you an idea, there are three categories. The lowest paying students are the registered Manila voters (hence, Manila residents) and graduates of public Manila universities like PLM and UP Manila. They pay around P11,000 per semester. If you’re a Manila voter but you graduated elsewhere, you pay a little higher, around P22,000. The non-Manila voters (hence, probably non Manila taxpayers) pay the highest, which is up to around P70,000.
I’d rather be explicit than vague this time – for this sem, I paid P22,207 because I’m a true-blue MANILA GURL. (Manila born, Manila resident, Manila graduate, Manila voter, Manila bay.. ay mali)
This is another reason why I work so hard. I owe it not just to my parents but to all the Manila taxpayers who may not yet really know where their money is going. Para po alam niyo, yung mga magagaling na doktor sa OM, kayo po ang nagpaaral sa kanilla. Salamat!
MAINTAINING THE SCHOLARSHIP
The scholarship is only guaranteed for the first year, unless you maintain a GWA of 2.5. That’s around 79-80, with the passing rate of 75. Frankly, a lot of people don’t get to renew their scholarship for the next year. That is so far my greatest fear, because unfortunately that’s just as good as getting kicked out for me. 🙁 That’s why people here are very determined and grade conscious for a reason. Dito hindi tinutukso ang mga GC!
So much che che bureche, and now we’re at the part I promised. I got this from the office last week when I noticed that undergrads are starting to inquire already. Please be guided! Everything is here, really :))
PLM is strict with the required pre-med units. If you’re a serious applicant, take the required supplemental subjects in the summer – even before your admission is guaranteed. There’s really no choice because you have to complete your units before the first day of classes.
With regards to the Manila Voter’s ID, it’s only to prove that you’re a Manila resident eligible for the subsidies I mentioned above. If you’re from Manila but you’re not registered with COMELEC, I don’t think they’ll give you the tuition subsidy this year. If you’re not a Manila resident, you don’t have to submit a voter’s ID if you don’t have one. You’ll have to pay the highest category.
(P.S. This is why I keep telling people to register for the elections! It’s a government ID needed in many application processes!)
MCAT AND INTERVIEW
MCAT was harder than NMAT, or maybe I was just more pressured. We never found out our scores because they didn’t release it like we expected. Review for it so you don’t regret anything.
The interview was substantial too. I don’t want to divulge the questions here because I want to respect the integrity of the system. (Chos) Just practice how you would approach the usual questions, and try to recollect your personal life experiences, good and bad. They should have taught you something. I must say, my previous interviews with other med schools prepared me for this moment. (Pang-practice lang talaga sila, sa PLM ko gusto e! Haha.)
It’s already a given that you have to study a lot. As long as you work out a system with your classmates regarding sharing notes, group works and meeting deadlines, you won’t get lost. You’ll find that tablets, Dropbox and Facebook are all pro-student platforms of technology.
I find it helpful though that in PLM, at least for first years, one weekday is dedicated to one major subject only. For example, Mondays are for Gross Anatomy – a lecture in the morning and lab dissection in the afternoon. I think this is particularly helpful, because at least we don’t have to worry about other subjects during the day (and more importantly, the night before!)
There are also other extra-curricular activities to look forward to, because despite the small population of the college, the student orgs are very active!
And also, you’ll be surprised to find that the facilities are enough. Med classrooms have ACs and projectors. There’s even a library for exclusive use of med students. There’s also a coffee vending machine down the stairs. I think that’s all I’ll ever need from an institution.
WAITING FOR THE RESULTS
The college releases the first batch of admitted students way later than the other med schools. Some are forced to pay the confirmation fee in other med schools for back-up. I didn’t. The moment I learned about the program, it was PLM or nothing for me. I just prayed and prayed. Then in the middle of finalizing our thesis, I learned I got on the first list. I cried. All of a sudden, my life had direction again. Ganong level.
Naturally, not everyone will confirm their slots. This could be a way to really sift through the candidates and determine the ones who really want to be in PLM. So, wait for that call. Don’t give up if you really want it, and if you believe you still have a shot. My classmate missed the first week of school, said the college called him VERY late.
Not too late, you see. 🙂